• Ilan Cooley

excess vs. abundance

Updated: May 26

"Once we truly know, love and trust ourselves we will have so much more to give and share. I guess you could say once you reach that point, it all becomes abundantly clear."

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The longer I go without external influences, the more I feel I understand myself. This is one of the only positive outcomes I have experienced in isolation. It is like a fog has lifted to let things gradually come back into view. The more time that passes without distraction, the less pacification I crave. There is no longer a need to prolong the deferring of reality. It has created time and space to reconnect with one very important person—me.

In the absence of all of the noise, distractions, and even people, we can take solace within. Once it all truly stops, we are left with one person. In reality, it is the person we need more than anyone, and that is ourselves. Fortunately, that person is available 24/7 and has all the answers. We just need to learn to be a reliable version of self. We all have an inner compass, but I think we sometimes start to trust external influences, or our own unreliable narrator and stop trusting ourselves. Learning how to regain that trust with self can be difficult.

I feel I have a good relationship with myself, but over time I let certain negative experiences and challenges detract from that relationship. I think I was mad at myself for not having the tools to deal with certain hardships. When injury made my body weak, I detached from it. When grief made my mind weak, I detached from it. When loss made my heart weak, I detached from it. I sought distraction as a remedy. This coping mechanism unto itself was not harmful, until it became a cycle of prolonged pacification.

An excess of anything can lead to addiction. Living in a constant state of excess is not healthy. Without a reprieve from these things, our minds and bodies don’t remember how to cope and thrive. I think the answer for me was learning the difference between excess and abundance. The more I did certain things to excess, the more I realized how bad they were for me. The addictive or negative things were generally consumables, or distractions that did not make me feel well, or make me happy. For lack of a better way to describe them, perhaps they are forms of the proverbial seven deadly sins (pride, greed, lust, wrath, envy, gluttony, sloth). These are binge behaviours like too much shopping, scrolling, swiping, screen time, eating or drinking. Excess detracts and is wasteful. It cannot be shared.


On the other hand, things that create abundance have the opposite effect. Abundance fills, feeds and flourishes. Things like learning, exercise, acts of service, giving love, expressing gratitude, and showing empathy are all abundance builders. Filling myself with abundance creates balance, provides energy, and enhances positive mood. This is good for mind, body and spirit, and leads to more clarity and perspective. Living in a state of abundance has a direct connection to my inner compass. I realized the more I worked on things that made me feel centred, enhanced growth and connected me with my own spirit, the more comping mechanisms I developed. Abundance enhances and is positive. It can be shared.

Too much of anything, even solitude, can be harmful. We need balance, and one that is not defined with the tipping of scales, but rather a balance that encompasses us like a giant sphere of protection. After taking time to reflect and reconnect with ourselves, we can take the abundance that we have created and put out it out into the world where I truly believe it will continue to multiply. The good news is, once we truly know, love and trust ourselves we will have so much more to give and share. I guess you could say once you reach that point, it all becomes abundantly clear.

I am sure the fog will roll in again, but I now have so much more faith that it can be lifted.

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